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2016 Twins Minor League All-Star Team

Sadly, the Minnesota Twins minor league season came to an end the other night when Cedar Rapids lost in the Midwest League playoff's second round. In the last couple of weeks, we have handed out several season-ending Twins minor league awards. For the first time, we are also unveiling our Twins Daily Twins Minor League all-star team.

Our Twins Daily minor league report writers were asked to vote for a catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, three outfielders, a DH, a left-handed starting pitcher, a right-handed starting pitcher, a left-handed reliever and a right-handed reliever.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs
Read through our choices for each position. Check out how each of our writers voted. And then discuss and cast your votes as well.

Let’s get started.

Catcher: Mitch Garver - Chattanooga Lookouts, Rochester Red Wings
Acquired: Twins 9th round draft pick in 2013 out of New Mexico
2016 Stats: .270/.342/422 (.764) with 30-2B, 12-HR, 74 RBIs.

Garver was the Twins Daily Minnesota Twins Daily 2014 Hitter of the Year. In 2015, he played in Ft. Myers before having a very successful stint in the Arizona Fall League. He did this Q&Awhile on his way to his honeymoon in December. He returned to big league camp as a non-roster invitee for the second straight year. He began the season in AA Chattanooga where he hit .257/.334/.419 (.753) and threw out over 50% of would-be base stealers in 95 games. He moved up to Rochester for the final 22 games. He hit .329/.381/.434 (.815).

In the season, he was the starting catcher for the Southern League All-Star Game. He was #2 in the Twins Daily Hitter of the Month in July when he hit .311 with a .905 OPS.

ETA - June 2017


First Base: Zander Wiel - Cedar Rapids Kernels
Acquired: Twins 12th round draft pick in 2015 out of Vanderbilt
2016 Stats: .259/.333/.459 (.792) with 27 doubles, 8 triples, 19 home runs and 86 RBIs.

Wiel signed with the Twins last year but missed nearly a month of the season after being hit by a pitch. He spent his first full season in minor league ball playing in Cedar Rapids. After a slow start, Wiel took off in the second half of the season. In July, he hit .310/.407/.660 (1.067) with nine double and eight homers. He was named the Twins, Twins Daily’s and the Midwest League’s Hitter of the Month for July. During the season, the 23-year-old had a nine, a ten and twelve-game hitting streaks. On the final day of the season, he hit two home runs and drove in seven runs. His 86 RBIs led the Midwest League.

ETA - August 2019


Second Base: Luis Arraez - Cedar Rapids Kernels
Acquired: International signing out of Venezuela in November 2013
2016 Stats: .347/.386/.444 (.830) with 31 doubles, 3 triples 3 home runs and 66 RBIs.

Arraez came to the States for the 2015 season. He played well in the GCL. It was somewhat surprising when he began this season in Cedar Rapids. He turned 19 years old after Opening Day. He was remarkably good and remarkably consistent throughout the full season. His monthly batting averages starting in April were .313, .340, .330, .306, .425, and .333. He was a multi-hit game machine. He had 34 two-hit games, 13 three-hit games, three four-hit games, and a five hit game. In the first two Kernels playoff games, he had a three-hit game and a four-hit game. His .347 batting average led the Midwest League. He hit .351 (.839) against right-handed pitchers and .333 (.800) against left-handers. Of his 514 plate appearances, only seven of them came against pitchers who were younger than him.

ETA: September 2019


Third Base: Nelson Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels
Acquired: Twins 11th round draft pick in 2013 out of high school in Puerto Rico
2016 Stats: .300/.374/.381 (.755) with 15 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 43 RBIs.

In his three seasons in the rookie leagues, the Puerto Rican infielder never hit over .243. At 6-3 and 170 pounds, he looks the part of a shortstop. He had a strong spring training and was playing well in Extended Spring. At the end of April, he received the promotion to Cedar Rapids. He immediately started playing well. He posted an .829 OPS in May, and then again in two of the next three months. He had a twelve-game hitting streak in August. In late July, he had a stretch of five straight games with two hits (and 7 out of 8). He won’t turn 21 until after the 2017 season begins. In late May, I chatted with Molina for this fun story.

ETA: April 2020


Shortstop: Nick Gordon - Ft. Myers Miracle
Acquired: Twins 1st round draft pick in 2014 out of high school in Orlando
2016 Stats: .291/.335/.386 (.721) with 23 doubles, six triples, three homers and 52 RBIs.

The fifth overall pick of the 2014 draft has been pushed in his first three pro seasons. After signing, he went to Elizabethton. He spent 2015 in Cedar Rapids. He started out strong in April when he hit .333 and was third in our hitter of the month rankings. He was the first Twins Player of the Week. He also hit .330 in July. He started and shortstop in the Florida State League All Star Game in Ft. Myers. He had 34 multi-hit games during the season. In late August, he had a five hit game against Palm Beach. He had two four-hit games during the season as well. Gordon will turn 21 in October. As one of the youngest players in the Florida State League, he had just two at-bats all season against pitchers who were younger than him.

ETA: May 2019


Outfielder: LaMonte Wade - Cedar Rapids Kernels, Ft. Myers Miracle
Acquired: Twins 9th round draft pick in 2015 out of Maryland
2016 Stats: .293/.402/.438 (.841) with 14 doubles, four triples, eight home runs and 51 RBIs.

LaMonte Wade began his first full professional season in Cedar Rapids. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month in April when he hit .316/.430/.542 (.972) for the Kernels. He started the Midwest League All-Star Game in Cedar Rapids before being promoted to Ft. Myers. In July, he hit .341/.400/.538 (.938) which was fourth in the Hitter of the Month rankings. He spent a couple of stints on the disabled list which is where his season ended. Against right-handers, he hit .287/.384/.439 (.823). The left-handed batter hit .315/.455/.438 (.893) against southpaws. On the season, he walked 54 times and struck out just 44. For his one-plus seasons career, he now has 101 walks to go with 80 strikeouts. The outfielder will turn 23 on New Years Day.

ETA: June 2019

Outfielder: Zack Granite - Chattanooga Lookouts
Acquired: Twins 14th round draft pick in 2013 out of Seton Hall
2016 Stats: .295/.347/.382 (.729) with 18 doubles, eight triples, four homers and 52 RBIs.

In 2015, Granite began in Cedar Rapids. However, after April - in which he was the Twins Daily Hitter of the Month - he was promoted to Ft. Myers. He made the jump to AA to start the 2016 season and immediately was an instigator at the top of the Lookouts lineup. Not only did he get on base, he hit for more power than he has in the past. If he got on first, he was on the move. His 56 stolen bases led all of minor league baseball. On April 20th, he stole four bases in one game. He began June with 12 hits in his first six games. He had a 15-game hitting streak in June and finished behind only Daniel Palka for the Hitter of the Month in June. During the month, he hit .363/.420/.529 (.949). He finished fourth for that award in August. Granite posted a .296 (.744) line against right-handers and a .291 (.684) line against left-handers. It was the first time in his pro career that he hit better against right-handers than left-handers (more specifics in this story on Granite). Following the season, he was named the Lookouts 2016 MVP. On Saturday, he will turn 24. (More on his Rock Solid 2016 season, with quotes from him, here)

ETA: July 2017


Outfielder - Daniel Palka - Chattanooga Lookouts, Rochester Red Wings
Drafted: Diamondbacks 3rd round draft pick in 2013 out of Georgia Tech
Acquired: in a trade with Arizona in November, 2015 for Chris Herrmann

2016 stats (AA and AAA combined): .254/.327/.521 (.848), 24 doubles, 4 triples, 34 home runs, 90 RBIs.

A year ago in High-A, Palka hit .280 with 36 doubles, 29 home runs and 90 RBI. He even stole 24 bases. He came to the Twins and put on a show in his first Twins spring training game when he hit two home runs. He began the season in AA where he hit .270 (.894) with 12 doubles, 21 home runs and 65 RBI. He was the Twins Daily HItter of the Month in June after finishing runner up in April. He was also the Twins and the Southern League’s Player of the Month for June. He played in the Southern League All-Star Game. In early July, he was promoted to AAA Rochester. In his first game, he became the first Red Wings player to hit a homer in his first at-bat with the team since Terry Tiffee in 2004. He added a double and a second home run in that game. In 54 games with the Red Wings, he hit .232 (.779) with 12 doubles, 13 homers and 25 RBI. His 90 RBIs led the organization. His 34 home runs was tops in the Twins minor leagues and fourth overall in minor league baseball this year. He will turn 25 in October, and in November, he’ll be added to the 40-man roster. He was recently named Twins Daily's 2016 Minor League Hitter of the Year.

ETA: June 2017


Designated Hitter: Adam Brett Walker - Rochester Red Wings
Acquired: Twins 3rd round draft pick in 2012 out of Jacksonville
2016 Stats: .243/.305/.479 (.784) with 22 doubles, five triples, 27 home runs and 75 RBIs.

In the five seasons that Walker has been in the Twins system, 2016 is the first time his team did not make the playoffs. It was also the first time that he did not lead his league in home runs. He finished second in the International League and fourth in extra base hits. And first in strikeouts. Of his 27 home runs, three tied the game and nine gave the Red Wings a lead. His 30 multi-hit games were tied with Wilfredo Tovar for the team lead. On May 21st, he hit three home runs. On June 30th, he hit an extra-innings, walk-off grand slam for the Red Wings. He has hit 25 or more homers in all four of his full minor league seasons. In August, he was the Twins Daily Hitter of the Month. He did a Q&A for Twins Daily last December.

ETA: July 2017


Right-Handed Starting Pitcher: Fernando Romero - Cedar Rapids Kernels, Ft. Myers Miracle
Acquired: International signing out of the Dominican Republic in February 2012
2016 Stats: 9-3, 1.89 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 1.5 BB/9, 9.0 K/9

Fernando Romero made a name for himself in the Gulf Coast League in 2013 when he posted a 1.60 ERA in 45 innings. Plus, he was throwing 95 mph. In 2014, he was promoted to Cedar Rapids in mid-May. However, after three starts, he was hurt and had Tommy John surgery. He missed two years,in part due to a knee surgery too. This spring, he was throwing 96+. He began in extended spring and was called back up to Cedar Rapids. He made five starts for the Kernels and went 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP before being promoted to the Miracle. In 11 starts with Ft. Myers, he went 5-2 with a 1.88 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP before being shut down in late August. He was #3 in the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month in June, July and August. He won’t turn 21 until Christmas, and most will agree, there isn’t a Twins minor league pitcher with a higher ceiling than Romero.

ETA: May 2018

Left-Handed Starting Pitcher: Stephen Gonsalves - Ft. Myers Miracle, Chattanooga Lookouts
Acquired: Twins 4th round pick in 2014 out of high school in California
2016 Stats: 13-5, 2.06 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 9.7 K/9

What a year 2016 was for Gonsalves! He began in Ft. Myers where he went 5-4 with a 2.33 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, and 9.0 K/9. He pitched an inning in the Florida State League All Star game. Then he was promoted to Chattanooga where he went 8-1 with a 1.82 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, 4.5 BB/9 and 10.8 K/9. He was especially strong in August when he went 4-0 with a 0.28 ERA and a 0.74 WHIP. Right-handers posted a .174 (.511) line against him, while left-handers hit .194 (.582) against him. He was the Twins and Twins Daily’s Starting Pitcher of the Month in April, and then again in August. He was named Chattanooga’s Pitcher of the Year. He was also the Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year. Baseball America and MLB Pipeline both named him to their 2016 first-team All Prospect teams. He was also on Baseball America’s AA Classification team. He will represent the Twins in the Arizona Fall League.

ETA: June 2017


Right-Handed Relief Pitcher: Trevor Hildenberger - Ft. Myers Miracle, Chattanooga Lookouts
Acquired: Twins 22nd round draft pick in 2014 out of California-Berkeley
2016 Stats: 3-4, 19 Saves, 0.75 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 1.1 BB/9, 8.9 K/9

After being named the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2015, he was again the choice in 2016. He began the season with six games in Ft. Myers. By the end of April, he was in Chattanooga. He was consistent throughout the year. In April, he had a 0.87 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. In May, he had a 1.20 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP. In June, his ERA was 0.87 with a 0.58 WHIP. In July, he didn’t give up a run while posting a 0.73 WHIP. In a nine-game stretch in June, he went 2-0 with seven saves. Unfortunately, he was shut down in early August with elbow tendinitis. He will turn 26 in mid-December and if healthy could be given a shot to make the Twins roster early in 2017.

ETA: May 2017

Left-Handed Relief Pitcher: Michael Theofanopoulos - Cedar Rapids Kernels, Ft. Myers Miracle
Acquired: Twins 30th round draft pick in 2014 out of California-Berkeley
2016 Stats: 5-3, 3 Saves, 2.20 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 11.6 K/9

Our voters stayed with the Cal-Berkeley-relievers-who-have-long-last-name theme in the bullpen. The left-hander began the season back in Cedar Rapids for the first half. In May, he had a streak of 11 games and 20.2 innings without allowing an earned run. He was named the Twins Daily Relief Pitcher of the Month. With the Kernels, he posted a 1.67 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP, 4.5 BB/9 and 12.5 K/9. Right before the Midwest League All-Star game, he was promoted to Ft. Myers. In 23 games, he posted a 2.73 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, 4.9 BB/9 and 10.6 K/9. Theofanopoulos turned 24 in August.


ETA: August 2019

So there you have it. The first annual Twins Daily Minor League All Star team. Who would get your vote? Below are the votes/selections of our Twins Daily Minor League writers:

BALLOTS

Seth: C-Garver, 1B-Wiel, 2B-Arraez, 3B-Molina, SS-Gordon, OF-Granite, Wade, Palka, DH-Walker, LH SP-Gonsalves, RH SP-Romero, LH RP-Theofanopoulos, RH RP-Hildenberger

Jeremy: C-Garver, 1B-Wiel, 2B-Arraez, 3B-Beresford, SS-Gordon, OF-Granite, Wade, Palka, DH-Walker, LH SP-Gonsalves, RH SP-Romero, LH RP-Vasquez, RH RP-Hildenberger

Cody: C-Garver, 1B-Wiel, 2B-Arraez, 3B-Molina, SS-Gordon, OF-Palka, Walker, Buxton, DH-Vargas, LH SP-Gonsalves, RH RP-Berrios, LH RP-Theofanopoulos, RH RP-Hildenberger

Steve: C-Garver, 1B-Wiel, 2B-Arraez, 3B-Molina, SS-Gordon, OF-Granite, Wade, Palka, DH-Walker, LH SP-Gonsalves, RH SP-Romero, LH RP-Theofanopoulos, RH RP-Hildenberger
Eric: C-Garver, 1B-Diaz, 2B-Arraez, 3B-Molina, SS-Gordon, OF-Granite, Wade, Palka, DH-Vargas, LH SP-Gonsalves, RH SP-Berrios, LH RP-Theofanopoulos, RH RP-Chargois

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28 Comments

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GMinTraining
Sep 15 2016 02:25 AM

Great List

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Cory Engelhardt
Sep 15 2016 06:22 AM

Love the list. Two questions about your ETA's:1) Why so long for Nick Gordon? 2) I don't think your Gonsalves ETA is possible any longer.

 

Thanks!

    • glunn and Thrylos like this
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JaleelWhite FanClub
Sep 15 2016 07:18 AM

Great idea for an end-of-year article! I'll look forward to having this as a good wrap-up for upcoming seasons.

 

I'd throw manager-of-the-year in as well.

 

Too bad this first year didn't provide much in the way of debate for who made the list. I thought the list nailed each position.

Great list.I would give Granite a shot in spring training to make the club.He could start by replacing Grossman and makebe Romero after a period of time.Exactly the type of hitter major league clubs need. 

Hope Sano can stay at third, after looking at this list some of these players will be inline for DH next year.Guess we will have to trade Vargas this winter to make room(or trade either Palka or Walker).

    • glunn and scottz like this
A fun read. And a big shout out and thank you for all the hard work put in to this list and all the milb reports and updates throughout the season from the staff!

A few thoughts concerning this list:

*The key for Garver is still his overall defense behind the plate. That being said, while a bit of a work in progress from hints I've read here and there, have yet to read or hear anything that says he's poor in any way behind the dish. Man can certainly throw! And through college and really, his entire milb career thus far, he's shown the ability to hit, make some contact, take some walks and can definitely drive the ball.

Garver's potential...and we'll know more after the AFL probably... the OK year by Centeno, and the presumption that Murphy is better than he showed this year...based on past play, reports on defense, a stronger last month in Rochester, etc, etc...still leaves me with the thought that rather than sign a "reclamation" project in a veteran FA catcher, the Twins may be better served finding the best all around DFA, milb FA, 40 man roster squeezed catcher they can find to bring to camp for 2017 and go with what they have.

*I know Gordon is young and has work ahead of him. But with his talent and athletic pedigree, I'm wondering if his ERA is a little late. Whether it's just a late season call up or not, I wouldn't be surprised to see him sometime in 2018.

*I hope Granite can muscle up just a little bit more, just to be certain he won't end up only a singles hitter at the ML level. Whether as a 4th OF, or possible starting LF and leadoff hitter with Buxton sliding down, he could be fun to watch.

*Not arguing the choice for 3B, but it surprised me. No White or Cabbage or Blakenhorn? Would love to know a bit more about Molina.

*I'm not caught up in the ages of Palka and Walker. Even some very find players don't debut or come in to their own until mid 20's or so. Glad Walker seemed to make some improvements this year, but Palka is the guy who really interests me. Even with some SO's, he's shown he can hit decently and still take some walks. His final OB is 70 some points above his BA.

*I don't want to put undue pressure on such a young kid, especially considering the time he missed due to injury, but I wonder if Romero can duplicate what Berrios and Gonsalves have each done the last couple of years; that is, storm out of the gates and dominate at two different levels. If he can, that May of 2018 looks do-able.
    • glunn likes this

 

Love the list. Two questions about your ETA's:1) Why so long for Nick Gordon? 2) I don't think your Gonsalves ETA is possible any longer.

 

Thanks!

 

Updated the Gonsalves timeline. Thank you!

 

Regarding Gordon... I figured 2017 in Chattanooga. 2018 in Rochester. Start there again in 2019 but called up pretty quick that year. It could be September of 2018.

    • glunn likes this

I've updated the article to include many links that I intended to link last night, but it was so late, I went to bed instead.

    • glunn likes this

 

*Not arguing the choice for 3B, but it surprised me. No White or Cabbage or Blakenhorn? Would love to know a bit more about Molina.

 

 

Blankenhorn isn't a 3B anymore. 

The LHP with the long name week be 26/27 before he comes up? I hope the new regime doesn't waste RP and in the minors. But, that is a nit in an article I think is very well written with great info.

Great list. Only one I can really disagree with is AB Walker. Out of curiosity, am I the only TD member that is not drinking the Walker Kool-Aid?

 

Great list. Only one I can really disagree with is AB Walker. Out of curiosity, am I the only TD member that is not drinking the Walker Kool-Aid?

 

Who would you put in his place? And, there has been a little bit of Walker discussion in these forums over the last 2-4 years. 

 

Love the list. Two questions about your ETA's:1) Why so long for Nick Gordon? 2) I don't think your Gonsalves ETA is possible any longer.

 

Thanks!

I think the Gordon ETA is just about perfect.2014-Rookie League; 2015-Low A; 2016-High A; 2017-AA; 2018-AAA; 2019-The Show.Too often this team moves guys through the lower minors in an orderly fashion and then seemingly succumbs to pressure to rush them thru the upper minors before they are ready.Take the time and do it right the first time so we can avoid repeatedly having to send him back down.

    • howieramone2 likes this
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JaleelWhite FanClub
Sep 15 2016 11:10 AM

 

Updated the Gonsalves timeline. Thank you!

 

Regarding Gordon... I figured 2017 in Chattanooga. 2018 in Rochester. Start there again in 2019 but called up pretty quick that year. It could be September of 2018.

 

Here's to praying this isn't a jinx ...

 

Gordon improved on almost all of his batting stats as well as his steals and steal percentage. Given the FSL notoriously being tough on hitters, my prediction is that Gordon's assigned to Chattanooga next spring and rakes big time! If he improves a bit in the field (or probably stays steady at short) I see him cracking some Top-10 lists.

 

If this happens it'd be interesting to see if he would get a mid-season promotion to AAA. It'd be a great problem for the Twins to have him enter the 2018 fold for 2B/SS with Dozier & Polanco. It might make the team a little more willing to deal either of those two sooner, thus hopefully getting a better return given their longer-controlled deals.

    • glunn likes this
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GMinTraining
Sep 15 2016 11:32 AM

 

Great list. Only one I can really disagree with is AB Walker. Out of curiosity, am I the only TD member that is not drinking the Walker Kool-Aid?

What's to not believe - That he won't rank Top 3 in his respective league in HRs / RBI / XBH / and Total Bases for the 6th straight year next season.  We know Walker will be in the Top 3 in strikeouts, but assuming "he is what he is" - Is that all bad for the Twins?  Averaged 28 HRs and 96 RBI each year over the last 4 seasons.  How is that drinking Kool-Aid (awinter)?

 

Who would you put in his place? And, there has been a little bit of Walker discussion in these forums over the last 2-4 years. 

 

I would take Vargas. The only knock against him is fewer games than Walker at minor league level. Polanco deserves consideration. A case could be made for Buxton to slot into this all star team, but that would be a stretch since he played less than 1/2 the season in Rochester.

 

How about guys that spent most of their season with a short-season affiliate. Lewin Diaz, Travis Blankenhorn, and Alex Kirilloff are all better choices, in my opinion.

 

If the criteria is that the player have ended his season with a minor league club (not the big league club), and played a full season, I would take Walker. In this pool, there's a pretty steep statistical decline after Walker.

 

Seth- I have been reading TD since it's inception and it seems to me that projections on Walker (by our beloved TD community) were split much more evenly in his first few years. I've seen a lot more positive projections than negative in recent years- that is to be expected with each step he takes in the organizational ladder. I'd be interested to see a poll of TD readers on whether they think Walker will be above replacement level in the big leagues.

 

Just wanted to add this- Seth and all other writers and contributors- I love reading your articles/posts.

    • glunn likes this

 

I would take Vargas. The only knock against him is fewer games than Walker at minor league level. Polanco deserves consideration. A case could be made for Buxton to slot into this all star team, but that would be a stretch since he played less than 1/2 the season in Rochester.

 

How about guys that spent most of their season with a short-season affiliate. Lewin Diaz, Travis Blankenhorn, and Alex Kirilloff are all better choices, in my opinion.

 

If the criteria is that the player have ended his season with a minor league club (not the big league club), and played a full season, I would take Walker. In this pool, there's a pretty steep statistical decline after Walker.

 

Seth- I have been reading TD since it's inception and it seems to me that projections on Walker (by our beloved TD community) were split much more evenly in his first few years. I've seen a lot more positive projections than negative in recent years- that is to be expected with each step he takes in the organizational ladder. I'd be interested to see a poll of TD readers on whether they think Walker will be above replacement level in the big leagues.

 

Just wanted to add this- Seth and all other writers and contributors- I love reading your articles/posts.

 

 

All fair points... As for this report, whether or not he will be an above replacement level player in the big leagues or not doesn't affect whether he's a minor league All Star. If you saw at the bottom, a couple of people voted for Vargas, Buxton, others... 

    • glunn likes this

 

What's to not believe - That he won't rank Top 3 in his respective league in HRs / RBI / XBH / and Total Bases for the 6th straight year next season.  We know Walker will be in the Top 3 in strikeouts, but assuming "he is what he is" - Is that all bad for the Twins?  Averaged 28 HRs and 96 RBI each year over the last 4 seasons.  How is that drinking Kool-Aid (awinter)?

He's been a valuable contributor for his team every year in his minor league career. I don't want to take away from any of his past accomplishments.However, that strikeout rate just keeps climbing each year- it was over 40% this year and if I'm judging him on his 2016 performance only, I'm not that high on him (I'm an OPS guy- I'm impressed by outfielders that land over .800). I believe there are a few other hitters who I would have ranked ahead of Walker on this list.

 

As far as my ranking of him as a prospect goes, I tie it to this question: How would his strikeout rate translate when he is facing the best of the best? We've all seen the difference between a AAA player and a big league player and I just think at the big league level, his strikeout rate will go up a little further, and there will be fewer mistake pitches to mash. At the end of the day his one glaring weakness looks like too big of a weakness to overcome at the highest level- again, my opinion.

    • glunn likes this

 

All fair points... As for this report, whether or not he will be an above replacement level player in the big leagues or not doesn't affect whether he's a minor league All Star. If you saw at the bottom, a couple of people voted for Vargas, Buxton, others... 

Seth- I remember meeting you at the Meltdown a few years back and telling you you're my favorite writer on this site. This exchange only solidifies that for me- just don't tell the other guys...

That sign on the Twins minor league complex building should say, The Road to Success begins here. That ingrains from the beginning the mission and the statement, not just the "Journey". 

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bluechipper
Sep 15 2016 12:45 PM

 

Here's to praying this isn't a jinx ...

 

Gordon improved on almost all of his batting stats as well as his steals and steal percentage. Given the FSL notoriously being tough on hitters, my prediction is that Gordon's assigned to Chattanooga next spring and rakes big time! If he improves a bit in the field (or probably stays steady at short) I see him cracking some Top-10 lists.

 

If this happens it'd be interesting to see if he would get a mid-season promotion to AAA. It'd be a great problem for the Twins to have him enter the 2018 fold for 2B/SS with Dozier & Polanco. It might make the team a little more willing to deal either of those two sooner, thus hopefully getting a better return given their longer-controlled deals.

Yeah, he should definitely start at AA next year.

 

Gordon actually went from 25 SBs in Cedar Rapids to just 19 this year, and the success rate went from 76% to 59%. Not good at all. I don't think steals are going to be a big part of his game.

    • glunn likes this

How does this compare to last year? So many promising guys in the lower levels. 

 

So sad that ALL those relief guys that might've got a cup-of-coffee this year might only get a cup-of-coffee next year. Sigh!

    • glunn likes this

 

Seth- I remember meeting you at the Meltdown a few years back and telling you you're my favorite writer on this site. This exchange only solidifies that for me- just don't tell the other guys...

 

It'll stay between us. Ha!

Great list. Only one I can really disagree with is AB Walker. Out of curiosity, am I the only TD member that is not drinking the Walker Kool-Aid?


I think there's a big difference from eyeing him as an intriguing prospect and drinking the Kool Aid on him,and I think that's where you mostly find the split on different groups opinions.

I just don't see how he can cut it at the ML level SO at a 40% clip. However... and I'd like to see his breakdowns again if someone has them...I believe his contact rate improved the last couple of months didn't it?

What I personally find so intriguing about Walker is his consistency at each and every level he's played at. You would think, based on his contact numbers, that sooner or later he's just flames out as he reaches a higher level of competition, better, more experienced pitchers, etc. But for the most part, at each and every level he's advanced to, he has basically been a .245-.250 hitter with an Ob% in the low .300 range with an OPS never lower than .743 and twice over .800. Except for his rookie league debut, he's never hit fewer than 25HR or had less than 94 RBI until this season with 75, which is still impressive for milb. He's also never repeated a level, nor even started a season at a previous level.

Now, there is still a HUGE jump to the majors from AAA, of course. But...but...if he could actually be the same hitter at the ML level that he's been jn the minors, he could have very good value as a lower order DH/OF. Kind of a big IF I know, but it's what makes him so intriguing.
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GMinTraining
Sep 15 2016 10:01 PM

 

I think there's a big difference from eyeing him as an intriguing prospect and drinking the Kool Aid on him,and I think that's where you mostly find the split on different groups opinions.

I just don't see how he can cut it at the ML level SO at a 40% clip. However... and I'd like to see his breakdowns again if someone has them...I believe his contact rate improved the last couple of months didn't it?

What I personally find so intriguing about Walker is his consistency at each and every level he's played at. You would think, based on his contact numbers, that sooner or later he's just flames out as he reaches a higher level of competition, better, more experienced pitchers, etc. But for the most part, at each and every level he's advanced to, he has basically been a .245-.250 hitter with an Ob% in the low .300 range with an OPS never lower than .743 and twice over .800. Except for his rookie league debut, he's never hit fewer than 25HR or had less than 94 RBI until this season with 75, which is still impressive for milb. He's also never repeated a level, nor even started a season at a previous level.

Now, there is still a HUGE jump to the majors from AAA, of course. But...but...if he could actually be the same hitter at the ML level that he's been jn the minors, he could have very good value as a lower order DH/OF. Kind of a big IF I know, but it's what makes him so intriguing.

Well said

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diehardtwinsfan
Sep 16 2016 06:04 AM

yeah, I'm a bit surprised that Diaz, Kirilloff, and Blankenhorn didn't make it.Granted they are at a lower level, but they pretty solidly out performed guys like Molina, Granite, and Weil.Problem with Weil is that while he was amazing in the second half, he was pretty bad in the first half.Overall OPS was .792.That doesn't exactly scream 1B of the future... now if second half Weil is the guy going forward, then I'll happily eat crow there.


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